For the past 75 years, the people of the Marshall Islands have lived with the legacy of nuclear injustice; commencing in 1946 when the United States designated the Marshall Islands as the proving grounds for a series of nuclear weapons testing that would last over the span of 12 years and leave multiple lifetimes of trauma and irrevocable damage. The fallout and debris from such detonations contaminated the land, air, and sea across the Northern Pacific region and resulted in the displacement of communities and health disparities among the Marshallese.
As a result of the fallout contamination, the health and wellbeing of the Marshallese became threatened, however, it was only of concern for the U.S. administration for the purposes of coercive human radiation experimentation. The experiments involved groups of Marshallese that were exposed to the fallout as well as control groups that were brought in for the convenience of researching the differences of being exposed to, injected with, or ingesting radiation. The experimentations continued well after 1958, despite the Marshallese tireless efforts and advocacy for justice.
When the Compact of Free Association was negotiated and the Nuclear Claims Tribunal was established, much of the scientific records remained classified and the Marshallese were never fully briefed on the full extent of damages that was caused by the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program. The inequitable access to fundamental information, at the time, severely hampered the Marshallese efforts to achieve a meaningful and comprehensive remedy. The declassified information that is available now has proven just how pervasive the program was.
Over the years, we have been living with the threats of remaining contamination exposure, decimated environments, and generational trauma. We have built this Coalition of Nuclear Justice Advocates to ensure the history and struggles of the Marshallese people are brought to light, and that our resiliency in the face of injustice is recognized. We are calling on each and every one of you to bear witness to our stories and share them widely with your communities.